Sunday, January 03, 2016

Day Job

It’s all about priorities I suppose, so I aim to make this year a decisive one for myself. I’m well aware research has been done which proves that talking about one’s objectives makes them much less likely to happen, so I intend to keep my ambition silent, and start the ball rolling now.

Flashback to just before Christmas and one of Detroit’s most out-there voices, Terrence Dixon, waffling on about the needto “keep it real” by being devoted to your art and craft 100%; eschewing the need to work in order to support yourself, eat, drink have a roof over your head and do the same for your family, that’s if you’ve been unfocussed enough to have one, I suppose. I’d like to think that Dixon’s words didn’t come out quite as he intended them to, so I’ll try and give him the benefit of the doubt. However, he does have a history of not engaging his brain before he posts on social media. This hasn’t stopped him from releasing some of the best, most complex techno of the last few years though, so keep on with that Terrence, and stop announcing your retirement. You’ve had more comebacks than Status Quo.

If there’s one person who feels trapped in a vortex of gainful employment butting its head against unrequited artistic potential it’s myself. Blogging for around ten years now, writing reviews and interviews for other websites since 2007, but giving over the majority of my time to a job which doesn’t recognize experience as an asset and is part of a fly-by-the-seat-of-you-pants industry which is incredibly self-perpetuating, I really see this year as one in which I need to do something. I’ve been DJing for twenty years, since 2004 on community radio. This will be coming to an end this Saturday, as the show I have been helming with Harry Sword has fallen victim to the creeping gentrification of the local airwaves. We don’t know how many people listen to our show, which goes out once a month, but I do know that the fact that we broadcast electronic music has seen it lumped lazily into a category which can’t tell the difference between bland, formulaic Beatport-inspired fodder and something far more relevant.

I shouldn’t be too surprised though. I remember a local Cambridge DJ, one who doesn’t live there any more, being dismissive of my show when I broadcast for 209 Radio as one which just played minimal. This blog was originally set up to accompany it, but has flopped around somewhat since and evolved into a series of links to other things. It’s tempting to wind it up now, as the radio is coming to an end, even if there was a two –and-a-half year hiatus, but there’s life in the old dog yet. The most important use for it is to give me some hope for the future by me using it to document my thoughts in music and also to have a record of  those thought and a link with the past.

It could be said to be one-dimensional, inasmuch as there is a specific ficus on the music I buy and listen to, but it’s also there to show that I’ve never grown out of this and I regard any notion that I should as patronizing. DJ culture has always fascinated me, and I suppose there are some obvious reasons for this. One of my greatest regrets is that I’ve never learnt to play an instrument. Ergo, I don’t want my youngest son to ditch the piano he’s been learning for the past year or so. Another side to this though is that I’m not even sure I possess the concentration necessary to play anything, but I’ve always been in love with playing records, and have seen its infinite variety as much more interesting and entertaining than playing an instrument anyway. All slightly contradictory I know, and I’m not knocking musicians here for being mundane, indeed, the hours spent practicing and rehearsing to reach perfection are admirable, but probably not for me.

So, how to climb out of this wormhole of inhibition I’ve built for myself over the years? I need to find a few different angles and get my finger out of my arse. I’ve always had ideas but rarely acted on them. That will hopefully change this year (note use of “hopefully”; must be more assertive).

No comments: